‘Pippin’ cast members begin rehearsals

The Bearden High School drama department released the cast list for its upcoming production of the musical Pippin last Friday, with lead actors and actresses including Spencer Streno, Blakely Daniel, Laura Dupper, Tyler Cheek, and Beth Ann Stripling. “I was celebratory [when I found out that I got the lead role],” Streno said. “I was nervous beforehand, but when I saw it, it was like, ‘This is so exciting.’” The production is being led by Bearden teachers Mrs. Leann Dickson, who is in charge of the acting and technical aspects of the play, and Ms. Mary Sexton, who handles the musical and vocal portions of the production. The music for Pippin was originally written in the 1970s, causing it to have “a 70s pop vibe,” according to Ms. Sexton. In regards to the actors, there is a diverse mix of newer and veteran performers active in the production. “I think that they’re about equal [in number], but [the cast] may be a little younger,” Bearden senior Angela Kirkpatrick said. “But that’s good, because the tradition [of acting] will live on.” With so much youth in the mix, how will this year’s cast fare in comparison to previous years? “I think this is the strongest technical class we’ve had in a long time,” Streno said. “The whole ensemble is great.” Added sophomore Ashley Slimp: “We do [have a really strong cast]. We have some really strong singers, and the acting is great.” Pippin is, according to Mrs. Dickson, “about the historical character of Pippin, who was the son of Charlemagne, and his quest for ultimate fulfillment and meaning in life.” The play is notably different from some past musicals. “ Pippin is really different from what Bearden has done before,” chorus member Christina Randolph said. “It isn’t a comedy… it is pretty deep.” While Pippin journeys for ultimate fulfillment, many students, staff, friends, and family members will likely be journeying to the production once it is ready to be performed live. Pippin is scheduled to open its doors at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, with additional performances set for Nov. 12 and 13.